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Thurston Cradock Test of Shame


Shame is an incredibly painful emotion. 

"Shame is an inner sense of being completely diminished or insufficient as a person. It is the self judging the self. A moment of shame may be humiliation so painful or an indignity so profound, one feels one has been robbed of his or her dignity, or exposed as basically inadequate, bad, or worthy of rejection. A pervasive sense of shame is the ongoing premise that one is fundamentally bad, inadequate, unworthy, or not fully valid as a human being." (Fossum & Mason, 1986, p. 5)

Not everyone feels shame this intensely, but if you did - it would be hard to measure it.  Why?  Because people understandably fiercely protect themselves against feeling shame.  Attempts to measure shame are made more complicated by the very things that exacerbate shame: an audience (an evaluator or therapist who may see it), and pressure to admit feelings of inadequacy (via fairly face-valid questionnaires).

With these problems in mind, the Thurston Cradock Test of Shame (TCTS) was created to more carefully and effectively measure shame dynamics.  The TCTS is a card-based storytelling measure that captures types of shame, as well as defenses and coping styles.  It was designed to evaluate the interpersonal and intrapsychic dynamics of shame.  Grounded in shame literature, the TCTS provides a framework to better understand common and unique experiences of shame.  The structured scoring system lends itself to both clinical and research settings. 

TCTS scores and interpretation can be easily be integrated with other testing data to provide a more complete picture of your client's internal world and external reality.  The cards can also be used in therapeutic interventions.

Please look through our website and let us know if you have any questions!

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